So you guys broke up. It was tough. You are decided, there is no return, no “let’s start all over again”. He moves out. This is where my checklist comes in, and believe me, it will be very, very useful.
Grab your tissues, and let’s get started. Be strong. I’m with you!
What happens after your ex has moved out?
I believe it’s always worse for the person who’s staying, the one moving out, just gets the stuff and finds a new place. Easy. But the one staying is left with that terrible emptiness and the memories of course. So, what can you do, to make the best out of such a miserable situation? Follow my checklist, and it will get better, trust me :) These things can help you move on. On the short term it’s a bit harder and probably more emotional, but on the long term it will pay off, cause you’ll get through this a lot quicker. Most importantly, you will REALLY move on, rather than having the impression, and then after a few glasses of wine, sending that text message…
1. New bedding
Start with the bed. This is the most important bit! Put away the double duvet, or if you had two separate blankets, hide one of them somewhere “safe”, so it’s out of the way. One duvet will do and of course, as many pillows as possible. Buy brand new girly sheets, and wash it with new washing powder and softener.
New colours, new scent … you are halfway there.
Regardless size, shape or form always lie in the middle, put your many pillows around you so you can hug them as well when it comes to those moments during the night :) When you make you bed in the morning (if you can be bothered to do it), quilt, blankets or throw – all go in the middle!
This will help you through the toughest bit – getting used to sleeping alone.The more comfy your bed, the better you will feel in it every evening and morning. Also, pick some books you always wanted to read, but never had the time, perfect way to fall asleep without getting lost in your thoughts.
2. The bathroom
Everything he left, straight into the garbage.
Even if the box is still full. No, no one else will ever use it, it won’t come handy for your guests. Plus, you shouldn’t smell him at home, you don’t need more drama.
Go get a new perfume (no risk with the “try me first” offer at Boots) and feel free to use it as bathroom decoration. Buy or make a little box for your make-up and leave it out with other nice-to-look-at bits and bobs as well. Candles and flowers are pretty cool too.
A new fragrance is really important – memories are brought back most intensively by the different scents. What’s even worse than that, is music… a melody will bring you back immediately and will make you feel exactly the same way as years ago, when you used to listen to that song over and over again. Right? :)
Consciously change every scent, even if you really liked it before. I’m sure that there are plenty other fragrances out there for you. You just need to find your new favorite.
Do you happen to have a souvenir box? So this is something where you would store all those useless things that you collect through the years from different places, people, events, you know, stuff that matters to you. I filled up a pretty big cookie box during my Erasmus in Greece with postcards, pictures, a flag which was signed by everyone…
Now, get a pretty (shoe) box and start your clearance tour in your flat. Carefully consider every single object and then be honest with yourself: Does this remind me of him? Does this make me wanna cry? Was this a present? Did he like this? If any of the answers is yes, the object goes into the box. Photos are a must to get rid of! And not just those of the 2 of you, all of them which were taken at the places you’ve been together.
Depending on how strong and ready you are, feel free to put everything in the bin rather than into the box. But think twice, as later you might regret. I have never thrown out any memories, but some of them are buried deep in a souvenir box. However, I’m sure it will be nice to look these up in 10 years time, but before that, there is no point in killing myself with stuff that hurts, right?
You need a lot of strength to do this, but please do not talk yourself out of it, don’t try to convince yourself of keeping a few items as you would only slow down the healing process – and you don’t wanna do that.
If the flat looks kinda empty, head to H&M, Next or Zara Home. You can buy some seriously cool decoration over there. If you have loads of time, browse DIY ideas on the net, you would not believe how many things a jar can be good for :)
4. Give yourself a treat – redecorate!
At least a bit… If you change the cushions, buy a new lamp, some indoor plants, maybe a new rug on top of your carpet to give it a new vibe, it will feel like a brand new livingroom. Give yourself time though to reimagine what you want for yourself, to get it right. At the end of the day, you will need to find yourself and slowly build up a new life. This isn’t easy, so don’t be hard on yourself if it doesn’t happen from a day to another or if you keep changing your plans. It’s fine.